CFTC Data Shows US Retail FX Deposits Continue to Grow, But Slowly

The prospect of lighter regulations may soon revive interest in the US market among ‎foreign brokers‎.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has published its anticipated monthly report for October 2017, which covers data for FCMs that are registered as Retail Foreign Exchange Dealers (RFEDs) and those included as broker dealers that hold retail forex obligations in the United States.

The total assets belong to the U.S. retail forex traders grew only slightly in October, limited by the overall static performance seen throughout 2017. With no major changes recently noted and only two reported months remaining in the year, the sector is tracking for a stable finish to the year. Yet, forex products are still a tough sale in the United States, despite the obvious benefits that a highly regulated environment can offer to traders.

That should come as no surprise, though the prospect of lighter regulations may soon revive interest in the US market among foreign brokers, or at least help brighten the outlook for a retail industry that has struggled for quite some time under the provisions of the Dodd-Frank legislation.

Retail forex deposits in the US have been largely skewed positively during October. The FX funds held at registered brokerages operating in the United States came in at $543.2 million in October 2017, which is $11.2 million, or 2 percent, more than the ‎$531.9 million reported in September.

According to the CFTC dataset, all the four FX firms listed notched increases in Retail Forex Obligations including GAIN Capital, INTERACTIVE BROKERS, OANDA Corporation and TD AMERITRADE. The best performer for the month was Interactive Brokers which saw an overall rise of $3.7 million to $42.5 million at the end of October 2017, compared to $38.8 million at the end of September, or an increase by 9 percent month-over-month.

Looking at the market share of different brokers, the overall distribution saw a slight change in October relative to the month prior. GAIN Capital lost 1 percent but remained the leader in terms of market share, commanding a 48.0 percent share. OANDA also solidified its stance as the second largest in the US with 32.0 percent market share – TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers retain a 12.0 and 8.0 percent share respectively.

The chart listed below outlines the full list of all FCMs that held Retail Forex Obligations in the month ending in November 30, 2017 – for purposes of comparison, the figures have been included against their September 2017 counterparts to illustrate disparities.

Source: CFTC
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